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Number 3 08-28-2009 04:09 PM

Farewell 296
 
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Well on Monday at 1:00 PM EST, I will drive 296 for the last time. I received the phone call this week from the staff that manages our QRD Fleet, formerly known as PEP or Product Evaluation Program. The young lady said she wanted to schedule my next vehicle exchange. She was a bit taken back at first when I said 2010. I asked her if her file showed what I was driving now. When she noticed it was a 2010 Camaro, she then understood what I meant.

I am probably not capable of writing how much I have come to love this car, and how sad, even though I knew the time would come, that I have to return this car.

Many of you know my story that started with Number 3, a simple but lovely 1LT with the Connectivity Package and Sunroof. Mrs. Number 3 and I drove that car to California over Christmas to put huge miles on the Captured Test Fleet (CTF) to prepare the cars for ship to commerce (you). I drove that car and loved it and documented it extensively here on Camaro5.

In March, Mrs. Number 3 was assigned 296 as her PEP car. In April, she was let go from GM at about the same time as the wheels were stolen off of Number 3. Long story short, due to the length of time to repair Number 3, the powers that be (and apparently they also like me) 296 was reassigned to my care.

296 is a VR 2SS, LS3 with Sunroof. I have managed to get over 11,000 miles on this car. We just finished a trip to South Carolina in that car, again fully documented here on Camaro5.

This car, along with Number 3, has enabled me to meet many of you on line and in person. Through these cars, I have been able to provide you a taste of what was to come well before the Camaros were available to you. My latest signature is of me taking photos of 296 on a trip to Saugatuk Michigan earlier this year. And I guess I think this is what I tried my best to do, provide photos to satisfy your curiosity and passion before you could actually drive your own new Camaros. I have files full of pictures of floor mats, switches, wiring, glove boxes, reclined seats not to mention hundreds of other pictures of the car. I take a lot of pictures, and I can assure you I have more memory devoted to Camaro photos than all of the other car photos combined. And I have reviewed both cars for you, in detail and as honestly as I could.

So this car has grown on me. I love this car more than any car I have driven. Period. Yes, Corvettes are awesome. Yes the G8 GXP and CTS-Vs are fabulous sedans. But all in, the Camaro just seems to suit me. It fits me just like that favorite pair of jeans. It isn’t a perfect car. Not by a long shot....................but I have found it is perfect for me.

Yes there are faster, lighter and better handling cars. But not many. And not for the price of a Camaro. And none have the balance of style, and looks that can be so beautiful and yet so menacing and purposeful at the same time. You see it and you immediately know what this car is about. In a flash there is history, passion and performance.

So as the CTF runs down, I wish to say farewell to a car that has not just been like a friend, but that has also allowed to make new friends.

Thank you 296. I will miss you very much.

2010 2-Tone 08-28-2009 04:13 PM

:clap::clap:

thecamaroguy 08-28-2009 04:14 PM

Sad day indeed.

KILLER74Z28 08-28-2009 04:15 PM

It will ba a sad day Monday... :cry:

Farewell good friend, farewellÖ :(

GTAwheelman 08-28-2009 04:15 PM

so you going to buy one now?

ljustin293 08-28-2009 04:15 PM

:cry:

I really hate to see this!!!

Thanks for all that you have helped us out with here on the boards!!!!!

Top Thrill 08-28-2009 04:17 PM

:cry:

I am very sorry for you.

Baughman 08-28-2009 04:18 PM

Thank you! And we will miss 296. Do you plan on possibly purchasing one?

ShnOmac 08-28-2009 04:18 PM

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :drinking:

Hopefully whatever you get next will at least dull the pain a little... :thumbsup:

Thank you for all the time and devotion you have put into this car we all love so much. Thank you for sharing everything with us here on Camaro5!

Number "Z"
You are the man!

LadyinBlue 08-28-2009 04:19 PM

But all in, the Camaro just seems to suit me. It fits me just like that favorite pair of jeans. It isnít a perfect car. Not by a long shot....................but I have found it is perfect for me.

Perfectly stated, Number 3.

Every time I see my car I think, "!wow!"
Every time I get in my car I think," !wow!"
Every time I drive my car I think, "!wow!"

Thank you so much for everything you've done for this community of Camaro enthusiasts. We appreciate it more than we could ever say. :clap:

Number 3 08-28-2009 04:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTAwheelman (Post 856956)
so you going to buy one now?

Mrs. Number 3 and I are very seriously considering it. Have to clear a couple of motorcycles out of the garage to make room. And make sure a we don't want to wait for the convertible. And decide on what color. Jeez there's like 3 more threads right there.

Know anyone looking for a Ducati 916 or BMW K1200GT? LOL

cab2g 08-28-2009 04:22 PM

sorry, but I'm a n00b, what's your job? You get to test new cars for several months? That's fun!

But sorry you have to leave the car you have grown to love. You should buy one just so you can take it out while not evaluating other cars :)

speedster 08-28-2009 04:22 PM

Hey Number 3 -

Thanks for sharing all of your adventures with 296. There were many times while we we waiting for our cars to get out of Area 51 that your stories were read and we kept the faith. You and Mrs. Number 3 went beyond the norm and made it a point to show prospective Camaro owners what it was like to live the Camaro lifestyle before they could. You gave rides, you answered questions. People were able to take pictures and video.. We'll all miss you with 296, but are sure that you will end up with another great ride soon.

Here's to you sharing 296 with us. :happy0180:

len56 08-28-2009 04:22 PM

awww, hope the next car is even better !

+where the hell can I get your job? (car test driver/evaluator??)

HeatherR 08-28-2009 04:22 PM

Well said! I hope everyone who was lucky enough to be assigned one has enjoyed it as much as we have :D

They sure were fun for roadtrips!!!

We are in the process of being transferred and will be turning our last Camaro in shortly....so I know how you feel :( Leaving the Camaro plant and the Camaro behind :(

Hope you score a great next car to dull the pain a bit!

patriotpa 08-28-2009 04:22 PM

Nice farewell address.:clap:

...what will your next vehicle be? A Volt? or one of the new Caddys? or....

Let us know. (We're car geeks too)

ncstatered21 08-28-2009 04:24 PM

What happens to it when you give it back? Will it be sold to someone?

MikesZ 08-28-2009 04:28 PM

Hope you get a CTS-V Coupe for your next car. ;)

CamaroSpike23 08-28-2009 04:32 PM

Jim,

Like I told you in my last PM, driving #296 around has made me completely rethink my plans for the new camaro. I've already got a track car.... or two. and I would be more than ok if #296 never got the "correct" interior. I'd keep it just as it is. I know I didnt spend as much time with 296 as you did, but I understand exactly where you are coming from. I spent less than a full day with 296 and fell in love. I hope you and Lisa get what you want in a new camaro, and I hope that it lives up to 296's reputation. It is a sad day. in fact its pouring rain outside right now here in charleston. I wish you two the best of luck in getting the car you want (if you cant have #296). Keep us posted on what your plans migrate to in the future.


Spike.

Number 3 08-28-2009 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by HeatherR (Post 857001)
Well said! I hope everyone who was lucky enough to be assigned one has enjoyed it as much as we have :D

They sure were fun for roadtrips!!!

We are in the process of being transferred and will be turning our last Camaro in shortly....so I know how you feel :( Leaving the Camaro plant and the Camaro behind :(

Hope you score a great next car to dull the pain a bit!

Thanks Heather, I hope the move goes well. It was actually your post from your Florida trip that got me started here. So my addiction to this site is basically ALL YOUR FAULT. LOL

Quote:

Originally Posted by ncstatered21 (Post 857014)
What happens to it when you give it back? Will it be sold to someone?

That depends. The new program GM just implemented rotates the assigned cars to even more drivers to get more miles for the quality evaluation. It could be back in service for up to another 4 months with another assigned driver. But under the old plan, the car would be cleaned up and sent to auction. In some cases, employees could be given the opportunity to purchase the car. We'll have to see what happens.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MikesZ (Post 857036)
Hope you get a CTS-V Coupe for your next car. ;)

I like how you think. From you lips to the CTS Chief Engineers ear.

MontyCarlo 08-28-2009 04:42 PM

Take the car and RUN, #3!

rolnslo 08-28-2009 04:49 PM

I wanted to say thanks for passing along all your insight on #3 and #296 to us. Photos, reviews, random thoughts...all worth it! :happyanim:

Maybe you'll get lucky next year and be handed the keys to a Z28 'vert to drive for a while. :bow: :5thgenvert:

Sounds like this weekend would be a good chance for one last short road trip in #296. Enjoy it while you can!

:chevy::thumbsup:

GTAHVIT 08-28-2009 05:00 PM

Jim,

So very sorry to see 296 go.

But we couldn't be more grateful for everything we've learned and experienced through your willingness to share your time and entusiasm with us.

Thank you, Sir.

:thumbsup:

SSOOCH 08-28-2009 05:11 PM

I'll pour a little out of my 40oz on Monday in remembrance....

Number 3 08-28-2009 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GTAHVIT (Post 857193)
Jim,

So very sorry to see 296 go.

But we couldn't be more grateful for everything we've learned and experienced through your willingness to share your time and entusiasm with us.

Thank you, Sir.

:thumbsup:

Truly my pleasure!!!!

Quote:

Originally Posted by SSOOCH (Post 857244)
I'll pour a little out of my 40oz on Monday in remembrance....

Ssooch, maybe the best offer I've had today. So far.


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